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Summer of '71 Chapter 03

So there I was unloading tractor trailer loads of magazines at the Philadelphia Post Office. Heavy, heavy mailbags full of magazines. You opened the trailer and there before you was a mountain that you pulled down by hand. If I was lucky, I mean really lucky, the Post Office guys didn't have much on their plate, and I could use more than one of the portable conveyor belts. Some days I couldn't even use one of them, so I had to drag the sacks of magazines from the truck to the hole in the dock that the bags were dropped down into.
A bus ride into the city, and then the subway to 30th Street Station. Then the mountain staring at me. In the cold and in the rain, and the Post Office guys were not allowed to help me out. Union rules you know.
After three months of this I was ready for a change. The final straw came on a bitter cold day in March. I had just finished unloading two trailers and I was beat. I mean I had busted my hump all day and it was time to go home. My left arm was going numb from all of the dragging, and my chest felt as though someone had pounded on it with a hammer. I was tired.
As I was preparing to go home, one of our trucks was pulling in with another load. I was told to get this one done as well. There was no way I was going to unload another trailer that day. I exploded on the driver, and then called the warehouse manager and let him have it. In the heat of the moment I resigned on the spot. My days of pulling mailbags full of magazines were over.
It didn't take me very long in finding another job. Underwood-Memorial Hospital needed help in the kitchen, so I got a job there as a dishwasher. It was a pretty good-paying job at the time, and you got free food and uniforms. You worked eight days in a row and then you were off for four days. Then you worked seven days in a row and got two days off. There was a lot of overtime, and I got along well with everybody there.
The warm spring weather was here, and I was re-connecting with some of my friends from the Heights who were getting ready to graduate from Gateway. John Marcone and Chuck Zeller were telling me about this new college being built in the woods in Atlantic County, not too far from Atlantic City. As a matter of fact, they told me, the building wouldn't be finished in time for the fall semester, so classes were going to be held in an old hotel right on the boardwalk. Better yet, it was going to be an experimental state college, with a pass-fail system, and the students will be able to help determine the way the school was to be run. Stockton State College, and it would be an environmental and performing arts institution. This sounded good to me, so I decided to apply.
Things were looking up. I had a better job close to home, rejoined the company of old friends, and the future looked promising.
Down in Millville, another dissatisfied young man was planning his future, and how his two friends would help him reach it.